The first session on Friday was handled by John MacArthur who spoke on “The Bible and Science.” He chose to narrow in on specifics rather than theory.
He began with several assumptions: whoever created the universe and everything that exists within it necessarily understands its nature and operation perfectly. Whoever created it does not have to wait for scientific discovery for Him to discover its operation. If He wrote a book, we would expect that it would be accurate. Whoever is great enough to create and sustain this universe would be intelligent enough to write a relatively clear and accurate assessment of it. He would be able to communicate accurately and truly.
MacArthur quickly surveyed the scriptures of other major religions, showing where they disagree with what is clear by scientific observation. Over against these scriptures, we need to find a book that is morally and scientifically accurate when assessed by true science since the true Creator is going to tell us the truth. He is not going to make mistakes in His book because He has created this entire universe to function on a complex, unfathomable, inscrutable information system. All of life depends on the communication of information, so we’d expect the book written by the creator not to say stupid and ridiculous things.
The Bible claims to be this book–the Word of the living God. It claims to be accurate in everything in says and inerrant no matter what it says. Its veracity and accuracy must be sustained under the most intense examination. The Bible is not a textbook on science, but wherever it intersects with science it must be completely true and accurate. If critics had been able to find scientific error in the Bible they would have found it by now. And this is good, because if the Bible is inaccurate in a scientific point it cannot be trusted in spiritual matters either.
Modern scientists have developed a totally irrational approach to reality which says nobody x nothing = everything. This is ultimate stupidity to say that chance and chaos can create all around us. It is important to realize that evolution was created not as an attack on theism, but as an attack on the God of the Bible. Evolution can coexist with a god, but not the God of the Bible.
MacArthur chose to consider Scripture from a scientific standpoint, looking at science in Scripture in some specific ways. He said that God has spoken in His creation in more sophisticated ways than previous generations could understand. For example, the discovery of DNA is a discovery that God has spoken. He has not just spoken in His Word but into every facet of His creation. Every cell has a language, can communicate within itself, and can pass information around. The organic world is really a book packed with sophisticated biological information. The genetic code is truly digital exactly as computer codes are. This is not an analogy but a reality. Digital information is a reality that exists within the organic world. Until recently the grand omission in the scientific world has been the neglect of information. The idea that complexity arose from simplicity cannot and will not be proven. Science cannot demonstrate that information can spontaneously occur or appear either in organic or inorganic materials. Science cannot show that information can arise from non-information or complex information can arise from simple information. The conclusion through computer engineering is that information comes alone from intelligence and that intelligence expending energy. Simple computer blueprints or programs always come from intelligent efforts.
For example, silicon and copper do not create the reality of the television, but together can hold the concept of it. They can contain the external information that is applied to them, but silicon and copper are not a television. Information exists outside the object. The information is exogenous. The material can contain the information but not produce it.
Energy produces nothing of intelligence or order but only disorder. This is why Christianity sees “person” instead of “force.” The only true source of any information is intelligence. It is person. Person applies ideas, concepts to materials which can only hold that information and not produce it. This is why the Creator in John 1:1 is called the Word.
MacArthur then spoke of the complexity of the cell, comparing it, as many have done before, as a factory town. Interestingly, scientists cannot describe the cell without referring to engineering and machines. This is a level of complexity that Darwin never dreamed up. It is irreducibly complexity and must exist this way for any integrated cellular system to exist. There cannot be a process by which it can be achieved but must all exist simultaneously.
While MacArthur had opportunity only to speak of the micro world, the same principles would be true if we looked at the macro world. Somewhere there must be a master of information. If he can do all this, we must trust Him for the book.
He turned to several specific scientific examples, such as hydrology, astronomy the orbit of the sun, the fact that the moon does not have its own light but merely reflects the sun, the perfect balance of the sun, the shape of the earth, gravity, meteorology, etc. In all of these we see that the Bible spoke of what we now know as scientific fact long before humans figured this stuff out.
The answer to everything we need to know about the way things really are both spiritually and materially are found in the Word of the Creator. Skeptics and critics have been relentless in trying to find an error in the Bible. They never have, and of course, they never will. Though the Bible is not a science book, where it intersects with science it must always be right, for it is the book of the God who created things just as they are. There is nothing that is a surprise to Him and nothing He does not know.